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Your Thrift Habits

Published 1948

Modern-day moral tale resembling Ben Franklin's autobiography.

Run time 10:33
Producer Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Almost all of the Coronet films produced between 1946 and 1956 feature dramatic storylines and a cast of characters that resemble their intended audience. Their narratives generally show children or adolescents learning how to understand something (rather than just learning a set of facts) and thus express great moral gravity. Your Thrift Habits, one of a number of films designed to influence the development of healthy spending practices, works just this way.
Jack's healthy interest in photography and his desire to buy a camera just like Ralph's invokes a moral tale practically equal to Ben Franklin's autobiography. As if goaded by the mocking voice of the narrator, Jack reforms his profligate spending habits with the aid of a budget. Guided, no doubt, by a mandate to practice visual means of instruction, this film has Jack inventing a "cameragraph" as a kind of progress gauge of his savings. Compliance with his budget brings happy results.
Although the mental predilection to save money resides in a deep and mysterious place, it's more likely that this film expresses reactions to the financial instability brought on by the Depression just a decade earlier. The bright new postwar world of consumer goods bore the same temporal relation to economic privation as, say, 1986 does to today.

Ken Smith notes: Irresponsible "Jack" is envious of the camera that sensible "Ralph" has just purchased. How can Jack possibly save the money he needs to buy one for himself? "Are budgets just for parents?" the narrator asks, mockingly. "If he'd do without extravagances he could save every week!" Jack concedes that he should learn to budget his income, so he devises a "cameragraph" and attempts to follow it. This isn't always easy, but the narrator is always on hand to humiliate Jack whenever greed and gluttony surface. "Too many movies! Too much candy!" he chides. "You can't have EVERYTHING you want!" Needless to say, Jack does finally save enough money to buy his camera -- and probably had a good laugh at this film once the unthrifty fifties got rolling.



Reviewer: JayKay49 - - January 31, 2014
Subject: Why Pass On The Peach Supreme?

School supplies? Far as I recall that was once a semester at the beginning. So, take that 50 cents and have a peach supreme AND go to the game.

He forgot about putting film on that new budget aiming at a watch. Oh well, another 7 weeks plus the previous 15 weeks, either his birthday or Christmas should be imminent - so just have the folks get him one.

Saving 3 bucks out of 8. My gosh, Chinese to todays folks. I do like the graph idea though.
Reviewer: Retro Geek - - October 11, 2010
Subject: SAVE for what you want?!?
Jack Furth learns how to successfully budget his income in order to purchase the things he wants. It isn't easy. Especially when his fondness for Peach Super Delights tests his willpower! There are signs of the tempting concoction everywhere. Even the waiter tries to seduce him with one by waving it around on a tray in front of his face. It was so prevalent, I even wanted looked good! But Jack denies himself the luxury and perseveres until he reaches his goal. He probably lost a few pounds in the bargain!

This concept seems corny and outdated because today's society has a "why wait when you can get it NOW" mentality produced by the financing and credit card industry.

Yes, the cost of living and a man's wages were different back then, but all families still had financial obligations commensurate with the times just like today...only I doubt Jack's parents were up to their eyeballs in debt. Their budget discipline most likely allowed them to sleep very well at night.

As much as I'd love to riff on this particularly corny old-fashioned film, I think it better to apply it's sage advice of learning to discipline ourselves to save for what we want by living within our budget.

The Coronet mantra of "making a list" for every dilemma is often hilarious but making a budget of income and expenses is quite reasonable and wise.

Whether or not you want to "make a list" of extravagances to watch out for is strictly up to you.
Reviewer: KatyV83 - - May 16, 2008
Subject: Easier back then?
A lot of people complain that it was easier back then to save and live on a budget that allowed them to do the things they wanted to do. But I don't think it's much different now as it was then. Sure, the oil prices are affecting all the other consumer products, but what is really important is what priority you give each product. What people consider "staples" aren't necessarily needs (ie, cable, eating fast food all the time, etc). I think that this is a wonderful video about setting up a budget that allows savings as well as a little spending money. Probably not 2 or 3 dollars, but whatever percentage that might be of the entire budget today. If these people looked into the future, they might be saying that it's easier for us now. Living paycheck to paycheck is an unhealthy lifestyle and can be avoided with thinking ahead and a clear budget.
I definitely think this should be an issue taught in high schools, maybe even younger.
Reviewer: PH1941 - - April 5, 2007
Subject: Another good one in need of dusting off
Hokey and corny as it is, the underlying message of this film deserves to be hauled out and repeated - loudly & often. Although it has never been easier - less expensive - to be middle class (relative to percentages of income), Americans say they are strapped for cash more than ever.

Like an obese glutton at an all you can eat buffet, our culture just can't seem to push itself away from the table.

The virtues expressed in this movie are plain: self discipline and planning will yield results. As Dave Ramsey says "If I could just get the guy in the mirror to behave, I could be SKINNY AND RICH."

The era in which the film was made or viewed is irrelevant. The message is simple, clear and easily followed.

A great short film.
Reviewer: ERD - - June 6, 2006
Subject: Easier then
With the country now going through various high oil prices-which effects the cost of many consumer products, its not so easy to budget as in 1948, a far more simplistic time.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - - April 6, 2006
Subject: Poor Richard's instructional film
Your Thrift Habits begins with two young men meeting at a local store. Fiscally irresponsible Jack eats his extravagant Peach Super Delight as he eyes the camera that his friend Ralph has recently acquired. Jack wrongfully assumes that Ralph's father bought the luxury for him, but Ralph informs his colleague that the camera is actually a reward realized by his own prudent financial planning. Ralph produces some simplistic line graphs and explains how he budgets, and Jack quickly follows suit after discussing the matter at home with his father. As Jack gradually amasses the funds necessary to buy his own camera, he learns how to resist temptations to spend all of his savings on entertainment while also reducing his expenditures on various necessities. Not surprisingly, Jack successfully saves enough money by the end of the film.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - October 30, 2005
Subject: Screw the budget, give me a Peach Super Delight!
Fun film that tells about how you could budget yourself to get all the things that you really want. Jack really marvels at RalphÃÂs new camera, and wished HIS Dad would buy him one, since itÃÂs so ÃÂswellÃÂ. Ralph says that his Dad didnÃÂt buy it, he did! Jack marvels at this, and wonders how he could have pulled off such a thing. Ralph explains that he made a budget and graph to help him lead the way, Unfortunately Jack has to be told what a graph is. Once thatÃÂs out of the way, Jack thinks this is a swell idea and starts saving for his own camera! He looks at his parentÃÂs budget, and plans it out very similarily. After taking out expenses out of what he makes from his job and allowance (2 bucks!) he realizes he can save 3 bucks a week for 30 weeks! Hot damn! All this is swell until some road blocks appear, like the school mixer and his pen breaking! Oh no! What will he do??
All this is rather fun, actually, when you look at it from a financial standpoint and look at the COST differences everything was at compared to now! I mean, Mom and Dad were only allowed 3 bucks each allowance! (Some of it HAS to go to Benevolences you see). A hoot! Highly recommended!
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - November 9, 2003
Subject: Too much math for Americans
Teenage Jack lusts after his pal Ralph's camera and wishes his dad would buy him one. But Ralph explains how he budgeted and saved to buy the camera himself. It is all rational economic advice on bugeting and priorities. If everyone in America followed the advice in this film, the consumer/credit card economy would fail!
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